From Monster to Minister

John 11:43-44 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

With the kids safely tucked in their beds, my hubby sprung a surprise movie night on me. We sat down, hot beverage and tissue box at hand, to watch, ‘I Can Only Imagine’. This remarkable true story recounts the struggles of Bart Millard through childhood abuse, salvation, forgiving his father and the Lord elevating him to bless others through song.

In his church-camp journal from childhood, he reviewed the drawing of him sadly hugging his father — a monster many times larger than himself. Bart expresses about his redeemed father, “If Christ can change that dude then He can change anyone”

The account of the Lord changing Bart’s father from child-beater to role model, touched my heart. I identify with his father in some respects. No, I never abused my kids. However, I felt like a monster at a specific time in my childhood. Early exposure to porn had me pressuring friends to explore the subject with me. Seeing how amazingly the Lord gave Bart’s dad deliverance, enabled me to receive a new wave of freedom from the shame of my youth.

In 6th grade, God’s Holy Spirit used my horrible behavior to show me, I was a wretched human being in need of a Savior. There was no mistaking, I needed Jesus. Although, I didn’t understand the vastness of His love and grace. A taste of His powerful love willing to heal me of sin was enough.

When I look back I often feel entombed in shame. Yet, for freedom, Christ set us free — never to be re-entrapped by the death clothes of shame again. (Galatians 5:1)

Today’s verse serves as a blessed reminder of how Christ calls EACH of us by name out of the grave. He orders our death-clothes of sin, shame and alike to be removed. 

Can YOU recount the hidden orchestration of the Lord working towards your freedom from death? I’d really love to hear from YOU, dear sibling in Christ.

Lord, free my heart and mind from the shame of my old self. You called me out of the grave. You made me a new creation. Free me from the entangled web of lies that claim I’m not new. Wash my thoughts clean, for You are my Spring of Living Water and my refuge. You never cast away anyone who comes to You for healing. For it’s You who calls us. ~Amen

We often try to cover up our sin for the shame it brings. See also, Hidden Sin, to break free from this temptation.